Preserving wedding favors

You've planned for months for this important day. You created the big plan and all the little details, organized the vendors and coordinated the services, attended the meetings and made the many phone calls. So much time and energy you, family and friends have spent to create a memorable day for everyone. Enjoying the memory of that day for the years to come is made easier and more tangible with saving mementos, including unique wedding favors from the wedding day and finding a unique way to display these items...

Naturally, the bride and groom will want to save their wedding invitation, special ceremonial candles or glasses and of course photos. A bride will often save her dress and some accessories as opposed to the groom who often has no mementos aside from photos. These mentioned items, however, often get stored in a trunk, the back of the closet or a box.

Our Wednet research team has looked at some of the many possible mementos that a wedding event provides for the bride and groom and came up with a list of unique ideas that will enhance the memory of those cherished moments. We will keep adding to this feature as we find new ideas. Your participation and input is extremely valuable and we would love to share it with the rest of our readers.

Our favorite form of displaying and keeping safe memorabilia is by 'shadowbox framing'. This is a conservatory means of taking one and three dimensional objects and mounting them carefully onto a selected background (fabric, decorator paper, wood, etc.), suspending glass or Plexiglas above it and framing the entire composition so it may hang anywhere. Not only is this a gracious and beautiful way to display your mementos, but it keeps them safe and accessible for prosperity. Though we will share some other innovative ways to display memorabilia; the shadowbox framing technique is most often referenced.

Collecting memorabilia can be spontaneously done during and right after the wedding or it can also be planned ahead with some foresight. Both ways provide a some wonderful opportunities to collect items that are reminiscent of the day. Before the wedding, keep in mind what are some of those details that you have incorporated into the day. Did you plan some special party favors for the guests? Is there a band or DJ that you hired for your reception? Is your caterer putting together a dinner menu or dessert menu? Did you order special flower arrangements? In any of these cases, having the vendor or service person provide you a separate sample of the goods is ideal for putting together a unique memorabilia display. For example: Save one or two party favors and set them aside. Ask the band or DJ to give a promotional brochure, photo of the band, or a list of the songs they will be playing. Ask your caterer to provide for you a separate menu typed nicely on their letterhead or some fine stationary. Have the florist put select flowers that will be in your bouquet into a flower press so that they may be dried for displaying.

For the more spontaneous gathering of memorabilia the day before, during and immediately after the wedding here are some items to look for and to plan for. Save any imprinted items you may have made special for the day such as matchbooks, cocktail napkins or menus. Collect some beautiful flowers or decorations that are part of the center piece on the tables. Ask your guests at each of the tables if they would sign the corks from the wine bottles with their names and or messages and leave them on the table for collecting. Actually having guests sign and write messages on any memorabilia item can make for a wonderful centerpiece.

Now that you have an armful of memorabilia collected here are some ways to combine and present these items that can be framed or permanently assembled:

Create a Framed Memento

Assemble the printed menu from the caterer, two or three dried flowers from your bouquet, a list of the special songs played at your reception, your favorite wedding photo. Have these items mounted on backboard that is cover with lace or a rich brocade fabric. Frame in a shadow box with a frame style appropriate to the feel of the items and the look of your home.

Create a Serving Tray

Take the wine corks that has been signed by the guests. Cut in half length wise each of the corks so that you now have one long flat side and a round side. Hot glue the flat side down onto a thin wood. Have your local framer place this ensemble in a shadow box using thick ΒΌ glass. Request that the glass be siliconed into place so that no seepage can get into the frame. From your local hardware store purchase some attractive handles which can be mounted on the sides of the shadow box frame to make the entire piece a serving tray.

Create a Stained Glass Effect Window Display

Take your wedding invitation and mount it onto the center of a piece stained glass (solid in color or multi-color) that is approximately 12" - 16" square. Hot glue the invitation into place. Similarly with hot glue mount your dried & pressed wedding flowers and greenery around the invitation. Lay on top of this montage of flowers surrounding the invitation a clear piece of glass the same size. Have your framer use a stained glass molding (especially designed for stained glass hangings) to frame the entire piece. In addition request that hangers and a chain be mounted on the top of the frame. Once hung in front of a window the beautiful effect of the colored light shining around the flowers and invitation can be truly appreciated.